• Homes

    Using crafts to personalise your home

    As readers of The Garden Chest will know, I have spent a lot of time and effort putting my stamp on my home. There are so many great ways of putting you own personal stamp without breaking the bank. DIY and home projects can also be great ways of personalising smaller items around the house or even gifts. Whatever your interest or ideas, there are loads of great ideas out there. I designed and painted my kitchen myself, and although it’s not necessarily the greatest finish nor are my edges the neatest, but I designed and implemented it myself and no-one will therefore have a kitchen quite like it. What…

  • Homes

    How lagging your pipes can save you money

    What is lagging? Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I recently moved from a one bedroom flat to a three bedroom detached house. I have gone from a flat where most things to do with the building are looked after by someone else, to doing it all myself. Whilst I am absolutely loving it, it has been a steep learning curve. I moved in November 2018, just before one of the coldest winters on record. My heating bills were going to go up anyway after moving from a flat to a house, which I had budgeted for, but I still wanted to make sure I was being…

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    Homes

    Three times I’ve needed money for the house URGENTLY!

    I don’t know about you, but I was never any good at saving money and being responsible with budgeting. I went through a stage where I was in debt, and had no savings. It was hard. I was embarassed as I was raised in a family where if you didn’t have the money then you didn’t spend it. I felt like I had let people down and as Brits we just don’t talk about money enough and so there was a lot of stigma about it. There were three times when my flat seemed to have it in for me and my costs just spiralled! The first one was when…

  • Homes

    My dream home

    For where I am in my life right now, I truly believe I am already in my dream home. Don’t get me wrong, if I could have a mansion given to me and staff to look after it and someone else to pay all the bills, I wouldn’t turn it down, but for me right now, my house is perfect. After living in my one bedroom flat for 12 years, I still can’t believe I have a three bedroom detached house! I really do feel like I’ve won the house lottery. For me and my cats it is plenty of space. I knew the minute I set foot in it…

  • Homes

    Surviving flat pack

    Since moving into my great new house, I have had to do a fair amount of work. Fortunately, the decorating part was in the grand scheme of things pretty minimal (painting is about as stressful as it got) however I have needed lots of new furniture. If you are new to this site, you might not know but last year I moved from living in a one bedroom flat (where I had been for 12 years) to a three bedroom house complete with a garden! I have an insane amount of space – which I am loving – and whilst I didn’t want to fill it to the brim, I…

  • Homes

    How to achieve the right atmosphere in the home through interior design

    It can often be difficult to have the perfect atmosphere across your home, but we can help.  From pendant lights to cosy furnishings at the dining table, adding the softer touches to your interior design can help to create a room with character, atmosphere and a mood. Harvey Jones, who supply handmade kitchens investigate: Deciding on textures You can be extremely experimental with textures in your home. In fact, if you’re looking to achieve an informal, cosy setting then steer clear of a regimented list of restricted textures and you’ll find textures that marry well irrespective of their feel or material. Mirrors and glass objects are a good accent to any texture.…

  • Homes

    How to brighten up your house

    As you know, I moved into my new home last year. It took a very long time (or so it seemed) to finally get to moving day but that time gave me a lot of time to research what I wanted to do with the interior. I knew the house was perfect for me when I saw it, but there were a few things that just weren't going to work with me. It's not a dark house by any means, but I wanted to make it as bright and airy as possible. Here's the top tips for brightening your house that I came across whilst looking in to doing it up.…

  • Homes

    Central Heating

    I was so excited to be moving to my house. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. There were however a few things I needed to arrange before I moved, or for soon after I moved in. One of these was a boiler and central heating system check. When I finally moved into the house I knew it had been vacant for at least 6 months (as it was already empty when I viewed it for the first time in May). It might of course have been much longer than that. I therefore knew that the system had been out of use for quite some time. As…

  • Homes

    Where do I start with new windows?

    I love my little house. I still can’t quite believe I have a house – with an upstairs and everything! For those of you who are new to the site, I lived in a 1 bedroom ground floor flat for over 12 years and I am still very much in the honeymoon period after moving to my house. The longer I live there – the more “quirks” I have found. That is a polite way of saying “bodged” stuff. None of these are taking away anything from my lovely new house, but adding to the character. For example, the outside garden light is on the same switch in the kitchen…

  • Homes

    Why I will never buy a leasehold property ever again

    I spent 12 years in my wonderful little flat. It was my first home and I love the vast majority of the time there. Unfortunately however, being leasehold, there was a lot I didn’t love. The freeholders were frankly thieves. They were connected to the property management agents who for years robbed us blind. When any of the owners would tell other people what we were paying – they were shocked. It was a ridiculous amount of money, even if the works were being done which they never were. Eventually enough years and owners down the line, something snapped and we got together and started the legal process of “Right…